Council tax support could be cut for thousands of Croydon residents

By Tara O’Connor, local democracy reporter

Cutting council tax support in Croydon will have a “catastrophic impact” on thousands of people in the borough.

The council wants to make changes to council tax discounts in a bid to save £5.7 million.

Paula Peters, co-founder of Bromley and Croydon Disabled People Against Cuts, says the change is expected to impact around 20,000 people in Croydon.

She said: “This will affect disabled people, single mums and families with kids who have already been impacted by the cut to universal credit.

“It is going to have a catastrophic impact on those who can least afford it.”

She said families could lose £3.29 up to £29 a week in support.

“If you haven’t got 50p spare, £3 a week is a lot to lose. It will plunge people further into poverty,” said Paula.

“People will be making decisions about whether to pay bills and eating.”

The changes will see council tax support based on weekly income, those earning up to £150 a week will be entitled to an 80 per cent discount while those earning between £401-450 will be entitled to a 20 per cent discount.

Those who are care leavers under 25, disabled non workers and pensioners would not be impacted by the change.

The council tax support scheme was introduced in 2013 when it cost the authority £28.7 million a year- it now costs £35 million.

At a cabinet meeting on Monday (October 18) member for Croydon Renewal, Councillor Stuart King, said that the council receives “significantly less than it’s spending from the government” to cover these costs.

He added: “The income band scheme is a simpler fairer scheme to operate both for the council and the recipients.

“It takes into account combined household income with support targeted a households with the lowest income and greatest need.

“The proposal is that we will use income bands of £50 and there will be a discount of up to 80 per cent for a household with an income below £23,400.

“On current numbers around 9,000 households will continue not to have to pay any council tax.

“There is also the proposal to introduce a hardship fund so we can transition from the current scheme to the new one and alleviate any hardship that may arise.”

Croydon Council will now carry out a public consultation on the proposal with a final decision being made in January 2022.



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